5/14/11

Lately.


I’ve been thinking a lot about our celebration-obsessed culture – the almost instinctive need to celebrate any transition, clichéd life experience or mediocrity in our lives. And I can say this because I’m onboard that train, headed 150 mph into life with confetti, stilettos and kazoos in tow.


I am the girl who clings to every holiday tradition, saves every photograph, always has a piece of the cake because – what the heck – it’s a party. Maybe you're that girl, too. A little part of all of us is. And I’m starting to feel that celebration is a fundamental part of human nature, because in it, I can be a part of something larger while retaining all of the qualities that make me distinctly me. Most of the time, celebration feels wholly right, proper, normal. 

A week ago, with all of the news coverage surrounding Osama bin Laden’s death, husband and I talked a lot about the American response of celebration. And, like many others, we were torn by celebratory act and reverence for a life – any life – that has been lost. When we saw the initial clips of what was going on in New York City during the wee hours of the morning, I cried. I cried big, silent tears. Mostly of misunderstanding. Because, while I am in no position to judge, I felt discomfort in what appeared a callous joy.

But I now realize that my treatment of these moments was altogether wrong. What I was seeing in celebration was not pure joy, untainted happiness that solely embraces a justice having been served. When so often we define celebration in terms of the smiles that it is presented in, I think we miss something. Celebration is necessary because it heals. It’s important because it allows us to weep, and laugh, and scream, surrounded by others who are similarly dealing. It becomes an action to make up for other inaction. Celebration is a transitional performance that gives us something to hold onto – a token of memory that carries us past the rough patches. And I think, more than anything, celebration helps us merge the past and present in a way that makes the future seem hopeful and wonderful and bright.

This week, I celebrate. Not because I am veiled in a happy-go-lucky delight, but because it is the only way to greet my future with the appreciation and expectation that it deserves. 

2 comments:

  1. One of the most honest posts I have ever read. I had mixed feelings about the death of Osama also. I was torn between feeling unpatriotic and human. I didn't feel that killing someone is ever cause for celebration, but I also remember how hopeless I felt on 9/11.

    I think you're right about celebrations, they are a necessary component of moving forward. I also think that it is vitally important that we all take complete accountability for our own actions. No matter what someone else does, we are still fully responsible for how we react. I try to practice this concept in my own life daily. An eye for an eye only makes us blind. Of course the only way to truly see change is to " be the change we want to see in others."

    Thought provoking post! I'm so glad I stopped by from the Finding Friends hop.

    I also love your love story :-) I think you and your husband are perfect for each other! A toast to a lifetime of anniversaries for you and yours!

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  2. Love your header! Adorable.

    I just found your blog through the Swingin by Sunday blog hop! Can't wait to read more. Have a great week.

    Amanda @ www.nutritionistreviews.com

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